Eleanor Bendat, the wife of Perth Wildcats chairman Jack, has passed away, aged 92.
The club confirmed the news this morning, offering their deepest sympathies to the Bendat family, who have owned the NBL franchise since 2007.
“Eleanor was a regular attendee at both Perth Wildcats and Perth Lynx home games, and her fun-loving nature and presence alongside Jack will be sorely missed by the entire organisation,” the club said in a statement.
“Perth Wildcats and Perth Lynx players and coaches will wear black bands for their opening home games this weekend in honour of Eleanor Bendat.”
Wildcats captain Damian Martin paid tribute to Eleanor’s kind and loving nature.
“Eleanor and Jack have been owners of the Wildcats for 12 seasons and in some ways, saved not only the team, but the league from folding,” Martin said.
“In that time they have helped the club win four championships and move from Challenge Stadium with 3500 people in attendance, to Perth Arena and 13,000 people in attendance.
“However, it isn’t the championships or success she has helped bring to the club that I’ll remember her for.
“No matter if we had just won or lost, she always greeted me with a welcoming smile and asked how I was doing.
“In more recent times, even at the age of 92 and her health deteriorating, she still greeted me with that warm smile and asked how my wife and daughter were doing and wanted to hear all about my two-year-old’s adventures.”